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California Marine Protected Areas

San Miguel Island Special Closure
Important: As of October 1, 2014 new MPA regulations are in effect.
Management Area: Southern California (Pt. Conception southward)

County: Santa Barbara

Nearest Port: Santa Barbara

Regulations in Effect Since: 2005

Boundaries: Boating is allowed at San Miguel Island except west of a line drawn between Judith Rock (34° 01.50' N. lat. 120° 25.30' W. long.) and Castle Rock (34° 03.30' N. lat. 120° 26.30' W. long.) where boats are prohibited closer than 300 yards from shore.

Recreational Fishing

Allowed Species: None

Prohibited Species: All

Commercial Fishing

Allowed Species: None

Prohibited Species: All

Other Regulations:

Notwithstanding the 300-yard boating closure between Judith Rock and Castle Rock, the following shall apply:

  1. Boats may approach San Miguel Island no nearer than 100 yards from shore during the period(s) from March 15 through April 30, and October 1 through December 15; and
  2. Boats operated by commercial sea urchin divers may enter waters of the 300- yard area between the western boundary of the Judith Rock State Marine Reserve at 120° 26.60'W. long. And Castle Rock for the purpose of fishing sea urchins during the period(s) from March 15 through April 30, and October 1 through December 15.

The department may rescind permission for boats to enter waters within 300 yards between Judith Rock and Castle Rock upon finding that impairment to the island marine mammal resource is imminent. Immediately following such closure, the department will request the commission to hear, at its regularly scheduled meeting, presentation of documentation supporting the need for such closure.

Other Requirements:

  1. Boats traveling within 300 yards of the shoreline or anchorages shall operate with a minimum amount of noise and shall not exceed speeds of five miles per hour.
  2. Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, boats may be anchored overnight only at Tyler Bight and Cuyler Harbor.
  3. Landing is allowed on San Miguel Island only at the designated landing beach in Cuyler Harbor.
  4. No person shall have access to all other offshore rocks and islands at San Miguel Island.